Feed aggregator

  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.

Exploit that gives remote access affects ~200 million cable modems

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 3:00pm
Closeup photograph of computer equipment.

Enlarge (credit: Netgear)

Hundreds of millions of cable modems are vulnerable to critical takeover attacks by hackers halfway around the world, researchers said.

The attacks work by luring vulnerable users to websites that serve malicious JavaScript code that's surreptitiously hosted on the site or hidden inside of malicious ads, researchers from Denmark-based security firm Lyrebirds said in a report and accompanying website. The JavaScript then opens a websocket connection to the vulnerable cable modem and exploits a buffer overflow vulnerability in the spectrum analyzer, a small server that detects interference and other connectivity problems in a host of modems from various makers. From there, remote attackers can gain complete control over the modems, allowing them to change DNS settings, make the modem part of a botnet, and carry out a variety of other nefarious actions.

Cable Haunt, as the researchers have named their proof-of-concept exploit, is known to work on various firmware versions of the following cable modems:

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Jared Leto is perfectly cast as a bloodthirsty antihero in Morbius trailer

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 2:31pm

Oscar winner Jared Leto stars as Dr. Michael Morbius in Sony Pictures' forthcoming film Morbius.

A brilliant doctor suffering from a rare blood disease goes to extreme lengths to find a cure and becomes a monster who craves human blood in the first trailer for Morbius, based on the popular villain (and later, antihero) in the Spider-Man comic books.

Sony's film adaptation of the character is intended to be part of a new shared universe of films along the lines of the Marvel model. The studio hopes to spin-off the Sony Marvel Universe (SMU) from its successful Spider-Man franchise. The 2018 film Venom kicked off the series, starring Tom Hardy in the title role. Critics slammed it, but Venom went on to gross over $850 million worldwide, and a sequel is slated for release this fall. So Sony decided to move forward with the planned Morbius movie, tapping Daniel Espinosa (Life) to direct—a solid choice, since Espinosa clearly knows how to merge science fiction and horror. Jared Leto will play Morbius.

Based on the trailer, Morbius will focus on the character's origins. Per the official synopsis:

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Replication study challenges work on fish and ocean acidification

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 2:15pm
Closeup photograph of fish face.

Enlarge / Local Fish Surprised by Results of Experiment. (credit: Klaus Stiefel / Flickr)

In the academic equivalent of "shots fired," a newly published paper evaluates a number of prior studies on the effects of ocean acidification on fish—and finds it can't replicate any of the results.

A number of studies in recent years has conducted experiments on the behavior of coral fish in normal and high-CO2 water. (Increasing dissolved CO2—which is happening due to human-caused emissions—lowers the pH of seawater, hence the term "acidification.") These studies have found some surprising impacts, from a failure to recognize and avoid the smell of a predator to a loss of "handedness" (preferring left or right turns) during development. These behaviors have been linked to CO2 interfering with a specific receptor in the brain.

Individual variation

But a group of researchers found itself skeptical of these results and hatched a plan to replicate them in a standardized experimental setup. Over the course of several years, the researchers repeated some of these experiments with a variety of fish species, carefully documenting and filming each step to create an accessible database of results. And those results seem markedly different.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Apple launches replacement program for iPhone battery cases

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 2:02pm

iPhone users have been using battery cases to extend the battery life of their phones for years, but Apple has recently offered its own versions of these accessories. Now, a number of Apple-made cases sold in 2019 have exhibited problems, and the company has launched a program to replace customers' faulty battery cases for free.

Affected products include the Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR sold between January and October of 2019.

The battery cases in question sometimes either charge intermittently or do not charge at all when plugged into a power source, and they may also fail to charge the iPhones to which they are attached. Apple was careful to clarify that this problem is not a safety issue; that's a necessary clarification, given that there have been battery-related issues with other gadgets that were safety concerns.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Don’t trust the US gov’t, states tell court in T-Mobile/Sprint merger case

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 1:50pm
The logo of Deutsche Telekom, owner of T-Mobile, seen over a booth at the Mobile World Congress expo hall.

Enlarge / The logo of Deutsche Telekom, owner of T-Mobile, seen at Mobile World Congress in February 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto )

The United States government approved the T-Mobile/Sprint merger without fully investigating whether the deal's anti-competitive harms can be offset by merger conditions, state attorneys general argued in a court filing.

The US Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission both found that the merger would harm consumers, a group of states that are trying to block the merger pointed out in a court filing last week. The DOJ and FCC approved the deal with conditions they claim will make the merger good for consumers, but the states say both US agencies failed to properly evaluate whether the conditions are likely to achieve that goal.

The US approved the merger on the conditions that the merging companies deploy 5G nationwide and sell spectrum licenses and other assets to Dish Network to help Dish create a new mobile service. With states having sued the companies to block the merger, the DOJ and FCC last month urged the court to reject the lawsuit and trust the federal government's conclusions.

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Unpatched Citrix vulnerability now exploited, patch weeks away

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 1:31pm
Citrix's ADC and Gateway products have a vulnerability that now has several exploits widely available, and attacks against Citrix customers are on the rise.

Enlarge / Citrix's ADC and Gateway products have a vulnerability that now has several exploits widely available, and attacks against Citrix customers are on the rise. (credit: Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images)

On December 16, 2019, Citrix revealed a vulnerability in the company's Application Delivery Controller and Gateway products—commercial virtual-private-network gateways formerly marketed as NetScaler and used by tens of thousands of companies. The flaw, discovered by Mikhail Klyuchnikov of Positive Technologies, could give an attacker direct access to the local networks behind the gateways from the Internet without the need for an account or authentication using a crafted Web request.

Citrix has published steps to reduce the risk of the exploit. But these steps, which simply configure a responder to handle requests using the text that targets the flaw, breaks under some circumstances and might interfere with access to the administration portal for the gateways by legitimate users. A permanent patch will not be released until January 20. And as of January 12, over 25,000 servers remain vulnerable, based on scans by Bad Packets.

This is not surprising, considering the number of Pulse Secure VPNs that have not yet been patched over six months after a fix was made available, despite Pulse Secure executives saying that they have "worked aggressively" to get customers to patch that vulnerability. And given that vulnerable Pulse Secure servers have been targeted now for ransomware attacks, the same will likely be true for unprotected Citrix VPN servers—especially since last week, proof-of-concept exploits of the vulnerability began to appear, including at least two published on GitHub, as ZDNet's Catalin Cimpanu reported.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Never-before-seen virus in China outbreak kills one, spreads to Thailand

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 1:15pm
People in breathing masks stand on the pavement and take orders.

Enlarge / Security guards stand in front of the closed Huanan wholesale seafood market, where health authorities say a man who died from a respiratory illness had purchased goods from, in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, on January 12, 2020. (credit: Getty | Noel Celis)

A never-before-seen virus that sparked an outbreak of viral pneumonia in the Chinese city of Wuhan has now killed one person and spread to Thailand via a sick traveler.

On Saturday, January 11, officials in Wuhan reported that a 61-year-old man died January 9. Testing indicated he was carrying the virus, which researchers have confirmed is a novel strain of coronavirus.

His is the first recorded death in the outbreak, which erupted last month in Wuhan and has been linked to a live-animal market there. Officials said that the man had been admitted to the hospital with respiratory failure and severe pneumonia. However, they also noted that he had other health issues, namely abdominal tumors and chronic liver disease.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Tesla is now worth more than Ford and GM—combined

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 1:00pm
An otherwise serious man performs a silly dance in front of a large video screen.

Enlarge / Elon Musk celebrates the opening of a new Tesla factory in Shanghai, China. (credit: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Less than a month after Tesla's stock first rose above $400, the company's shares have now soared past $500 per share. As I write this, one share of Tesla stock is worth $516, which means the company as a whole is worth more than $93 billion.

The latest rally was sparked by a new report from Colin Rusch, an analyst at the Wall Street firm of Oppenheimer & Co. He revised his Tesla price target upward from $385 to $612. But more fundamentally, the rising stock price reflects the fact that, after a couple years of near-constant chaos, the company seems to finally be executing smoothly.

Tesla delivered 112,000 cars in the fourth quarter of 2019 and 367,500 for the full year. Both were new records for the company; Tesla barely achieved its goal to deliver at least 360,000 cars for the year.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Crew Dragon faces its last big test before human spaceflight on Saturday

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 11:52am

Over the weekend, SpaceX performed a static fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket that will launch its Crew Dragon on a key test this coming Saturday. The company is aiming for the top of a four-hour launch window, which opens at 8am ET (13:00 UTC), to conduct its in-flight abort test.

During the test, the Falcon 9 will launch a Crew Dragon spacecraft. Then, at an altitude of about 21km, when the launch vehicle reaches a critical velocity, Dragon's SuperDraco thrusters will ignite for several seconds to pull the capsule away from the rocket—simulating escaping from a rocket emergency.

The test is a critical one. An accident with the SuperDraco system destroyed a Crew Dragon spacecraft test in April, and the company and NASA have since said they have identified the cause of the problem. Approximately 100 milliseconds prior to ignition of Crew Dragon's eight SuperDraco thrusters, a leaking component allowed about one cup of liquid oxidizer (nitrogen tetroxide, or NTO) into the wrong fuel tank plumbing. The company has implemented a fix. Saturday's flight will also showcase the newer parachute system that will bring Dragon safely back down to the ocean.

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Samsung’s next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S20, gets photographed

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 10:33am

XDA Developer's Max Weinbach has scored the first in-person photos of Samsung's next flagship smartphone. We previously only saw the phone in renders, so there are a few things to go over.

Since the Galaxy S10 came out last year, we've been calling Samsung's next phone the "Galaxy S11" because we're great at math. But this year, it seems the S series is getting a new numbering scheme, and, according to the boot screen, this device is the "Galaxy S20+." With the S20 in 2020, apparently Samsung has decided to number these things like they're the latest installment in an EA Sports video game franchise.

The front is right in line with Samsung's last phone, the Galaxy Note 10, with a centered cutout for the front camera. XDA says the display sides are "much less curved than before. Our source said [the display] felt flat." Samsung has been pushing curved display sides for years, but the feature has never offered any usability benefits—it just distorts the sides of the screen and makes it easier to accidentally touch the sides of the display. Seeing a sensible return to flat displays would be great.

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Instagram is taking down posts supporting slain Iranian general Soleimani

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 10:26am
Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in 2013.

Enlarge / Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in 2013. (credit: MEHDI GHASEMI/ISNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Instagram has been removing posts supporting Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian military leader who was killed by an American strike on January 3, CNN reports. Instagram's actions were first spotted by the nonprofit news organization Coda. In statements to both news organizations, Facebook-owned Instagram said it was taking down the posts to comply with US sanctions laws.

Soleimani was a leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the Iranian military that the US has accused of training and funding groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. The Trump administration designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization in April 2019.

“We review content against our policies and our obligations to US sanctions laws, and specifically those related to the US government’s designation of the IRGC and its leadership as a terrorist organization,” Facebook said in a statement to Ars Technica.

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I broke Giant’s handheld scanner system by only buying two things

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 9:52am
I broke Giant’s handheld scanner system by only buying two things

Enlarge (credit: Ahold Delhaize)

This is a silly story about the most stupid interaction I have had with a piece of technology that's supposed to make life easier, and it all starts at the grocery store.

The closest supermarket to my house is a Giant (ironically, a medium-sized one). It's nearby, well-stocked, price-competitive, and generally well-run, so my family does most of our grocery shopping there. One major feature for us is the chain's SCAN-IT service: a handheld scanner, or an app you can put on your phone, that allows you to check out and bag your own items as you go. Pretty convenient, as far as it goes, except for one major flaw: the system apparently cannot do basic arithmetic, such as determining that two is in fact less than seven.

Scan-It and the honor system

The Scan-It app is straightforward to use. You load it up on your phone while on the store's Wi-Fi network and point your phone camera at the barcodes on the things you want to buy. The store has scales throughout the produce section where you can weigh your fruit and vegetables and print a label to scan. For loose items such as bagels or muffins, the bakery has centralized barcodes hanging on signs.

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Guidemaster: Fitness trackers to consider before buying a smartwatch

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 9:32am
Fitbit's Inspire HR fitness tracker on a wrist.

Enlarge / A different band can change the entire look of the Inspire HR. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Update: To help all the readers out there considering health-related New Years resolutions, we've been testing the latest and greatest fitness trackers in recent months in order to update our Fitness Tracker Guidemaster. We originally put together our list of favorites in January 2018, but below you'll find our recommendations updated to include the best devices you can get in 2020.

The smartwatch hasn't swallowed up the fitness tracker yet. While many are intrigued by the powers of the Apple Watch, Wear OS devices, and the like, old-school fitness trackers still have their uses—and they're usually much easier on your wallet, too. The goal of the humble fitness band remains the same as it was when these devices were new: track daily activity in all its forms, from daily steps to intense workouts, from heart rate dips and spikes to the calm waves of sleep. Most of today's fitness trackers haven't changed much aesthetically, either. They're still, by and large, wristbands.

With so many devices sharing the same basic goals and set of features, it can be hard to deduce which tracker is right for you. But from our testing, there are some fitness trackers that stand out among the rest—some for their thoughtful applications, others for their versatility, and some for their focused approach to fitness training. We've looked back at the fitness trackers we've reviewed and selected the best devices that are most likely to help you get and stay in shape.

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Linus Torvalds says “Don’t use ZFS”—but doesn’t seem to understand it

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 6:40am
Linus Torvalds is eminently qualified to discuss issues with license compatibility and kernel policy. However, this does not mean he's equally qualified to discuss individual projects in project-specific context.

Enlarge / Linus Torvalds is eminently qualified to discuss issues with license compatibility and kernel policy. However, this does not mean he's equally qualified to discuss individual projects in project-specific context. (credit: Getty Images)

Last Monday in the "Moderated Discussions" forum at realworldtech.com, Linus Torvalds—founding developer and current supreme maintainer of the Linux kernel—answered a user's question about a year-old kernel maintenance controversy that heavily impacted the ZFS on Linux project. After answering the user's actual question, Torvalds went on to make inaccurate and damaging claims about the ZFS filesystem itself.

Given the massive weight automatically given Torvalds' words due to his status as founding developer and chief maintainer of the Linux kernel, we feel it's a good idea to explain both the controversial kernel change itself, and Torvalds' comments about both the change in question and the ZFS filesystem.

The original January 2019 controversy, explained

In January 2019, kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman decided to disable exporting certain kernel symbols to non-GPL loadable kernel modules.

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HP Spectre x360 13 review: A high-end two-in-one that’s hard to beat

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 6:00am
It is sleek.

Enlarge / It is sleek. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

There was a lot to love about the 4th-generation HP Spectre x360 13, but HP wasn't satisfied. The new 5th-gen laptop, which debuted at the end of 2019, has more improvements than you'd think just by glancing at it. in fact without inspecting it thoroughly, you may think the new Spectre x360 13 looks and feels just like the previous model. But fear not, it's different—HP significantly shrank the device, added a mic-mute button, gave it optional LTE support, and stuffed 10th-gen Ice Lake Intel processors inside of it.

When OEMs make improvements and try to fix problems on a laptop, they often have to make sacrifices. With thin-and-light flagships like these, sacrifices typically come in power, battery life, and port selection, just to name a few areas. But HP didn't remove anything from the 4th-generation laptop when making the newest model—a fact that will work in its favor as it has to compete with the likes of the Dell XPS 13 two-in-one and the new Dell XPS 13 laptop. But just how much better did HP make the Spectre x360 13, and are there any hidden negatives about the newest iteration? We recently spent a few days with the laptop to find out.

Look and feel Specs at a glance: HP Spectre x360 13 (2019, as reviewed) Screen 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x1080) WLED touchscreen OS Windows 10 CPU Intel Core i7-1065G7 (Ice Lake) RAM 8GB Storage 512GB PCIe SSD + 32GB Optane Memory GPU Intel Iris Plus Graphics Networking Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2x2), Bluetooth 5 Ports 2 x Thunderbolt 3, 1 x USB-A, 1 x microSD card, 1 x headphone jack Size 12.1×7.7×0.7 inches Weight 2.88 pounds Battery 60Whr 4-cell Starting price $1,099.99 Price as reviewed $1,299.99 Extras Camera kill switch, mic-mute button, optional LTE, active pen included
(Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.)

If you spend an inordinate amount of time around laptops like I do, the new narrowness to the 5th-gen HP Spectre x360 13 would immediately strike you. The previous model had chunky black bezels at the top and bottom of its display, increasing the overall width of the device. HP slashed most of that unnecessary space here, leaving behind a modest bezel at the bottom of the display with the HP logo on it. The company developed a super-tiny (2.2mm) IR camera as well, so it could keep that form of Windows Hello on the shrunken top bezel.

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This simulator company reverse-engineered the Tesla Nürburgring lap

ArsTechnica - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 5:48am
A picture of the Nurburgring with the Tesla logo overlaid on top.

Enlarge (credit: elyob @ Flickr)

Last summer, a whole lot more people learned about the world's gnarliest race track when Tesla announced that it was sending a Model S sedan to the Nürburgring Nordschleife. The 12.9-mile (20.8km) track was built as a make-work project during the Great Depression, and people still race there today, although it's also widely used by car companies to develop their cars—or ruin them, if you believe that one episode of Top Gear. Tesla has been rather coy about the whole thing and hasn't really elaborated on the full raft of modifications it made to the Model S that set an unofficial time of 7 minutes and 23 seconds. But that hasn't stopped our friends at CXC Simulations from having a go at reverse-engineering things in silico.

I spoke to CXC's boss, Chris Considine, and professional racer (and the only American driver to have won pole position at the Nordschleife) Jeff Westphal to find out the answers to important questions like how, and why, and was it fun?

"I saw the story about Tesla running at the Nürburgring, and then we saw the video of them running it at Laguna Seca as well and we thought 'what if we tried to simulate this backwards, right?' Instead of having all the data, and then creating a simulation based on that, what if we just take the lap time and all the information that we know and try and reverse engineer, essentially," Considine told me.

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Higher minimum wages linked to reduced suicide rate

ArsTechnica - Sun, 01/12/2020 - 1:35pm
Higher minimum wages linked to reduced suicide rate

Enlarge

In the US, suicide is a major public health issue, with double-digit percentages of the preventable deaths for adults under 45. And, disconcertingly, the rates have been rising over recent decades. But recognizing this as a source of preventable deaths is very different from actually figuring out how to prevent them.

One of the challenges is that a variety of factors feed into the depression and stress that are associated with suicide, so identifying which ones play the most significant roles, and figuring out how to address them, is a challenge. A number of studies, however, have indicated that financial stressors are a significant contributor. And a few recent studies have suggested a public policy that can reduce financial stress does seem to have an influence on suicide rates: the minimum wage.

Now, researchers from Emory University have followed those up with a comprehensive look at the correlations between suicide rate and minimum wage laws. They find that the correlation does hold up, but only among those with a high school education or less, and only during times of high unemployment.

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The tiniest controller we’ve ever tested is a lot better than you might think

ArsTechnica - Sun, 01/12/2020 - 8:00am
A hand holds a tiny video game controller next to a dinosaur figurine.

Enlarge / At 73mm long, the 8Bitdo Zero 2 controller, like its predecessor, is shorter than a standard Amiibo figurine. The reason we're reviewing it? It turned out to be serviceable in a pinch. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

Over the years, we've become frequent users of 8BitDo game controllers, particularly the company's "legacy" line. You won't find a much better maker of unofficial gamepads made for classic consoles' ports (NES, Genesis, Super NES), and those models also come in Bluetooth-equipped flavors, ready to run on modern consoles and PCs.

Between its classic and modern gamepads, 8BitDo clearly favors the SNES' controller as an archetype, and that goes for the company's "Zero" series as well. Hence, if you see a Zero gamepad in a photo by itself, you may wonder what's so special about it.

That's probably why people photograph the 8BitDo Zero series next to tiny objects for scale. At 73mm long and 36.5mm wide, it's barely bigger than an adult's thumb and dwarfed by an average GI Joe figurine. After receiving and unboxing my very own 8BitDo Zero 2 gamepad (the newest model, introduced one month ago to retailers), I laughed incredulously. Seriously, 8BitDo? Who in the world do you think would play games with one of these?

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A look ahead to the 2020 IMSA sports car season

ArsTechnica - Sun, 01/12/2020 - 6:30am

Motorsport doesn't have much of an offseason these days. That's particularly true for IMSA's WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, North America's main endurance racing series. After wrapping up 2019 in late October, the series has already conducted its big preseason test—called "the Roar before the 24"—and is gearing up for the first and one of its biggest events of the year, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which takes place at the end of January. With that in mind, let's take a look at what storylines might be bubbling up for 2020.

IMSA's series has been in fine form the past few years, with strong interest from manufacturers and teams eager to prove their prowess in each of the different classes that all compete on track at the same time. 2020 is going to be somewhat of a transition year for the sport. Entries are down, and fans of Nissan and Ford will have to find new teams to cheer for as both OEMs are ending their factory-backed participation.

But it's not all bad. A new boss is running things, the highly anticipated new mid-engined Corvette makes its racing debut, and everyone's starting to think about possible convergence with the new set of technical rules being written for Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship.

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Iranian hackers have been “password spraying” the US grid

ArsTechnica - Sun, 01/12/2020 - 5:05am
Electricity pylons at sunset

Enlarge / Electricity pylons at sunset (credit: James O'Neill | Getty Images)

In the wake of the US assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and the retaliatory missile strike that followed, Iran-watchers have warned that the country could deploy cyberattacks as well, perhaps even targeting US critical infrastructure like the electric grid. A new report lends some fresh details to the nature of that threat: by all appearances, Iranian hackers don't currently have the capability to start causing blackouts in the US. But they’ve been working to gain access to American electric utilities, long before tensions between the two countries came to a head.

On Thursday morning, industrial control system security firm Dragos detailed newly revealed hacking activity that it has tracked and attributed to a group of state-sponsored hackers it calls Magnallium. The same group is also known as APT33, Refined Kitten, or Elfin and has previously been linked to Iran. Dragos says it has observed Magnallium carrying out a broad campaign of so-called password-spraying attacks, which guess a set of common passwords for hundreds or even thousands of different accounts, targeting US electric utilities as well as oil and gas firms.

A related group that Dragos calls Parisite has worked in apparent cooperation with Magnallium, the security firm says, attempting to gain access to US electric utilities and oil and gas firms by exploiting vulnerabilities in virtual private networking software. The two groups' combined intrusion campaign ran through all of 2019 and continues today.

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